Good call. The BX has been a headache from day one.
Running more than one classic, without a modern daily as backup, is a challenge even those with significantly more in the way of resources can rarely manage. I’ve said before, when you were going through similar agonies with the Renault, that you should concentrate on just the one.
If you really need two vehicles, buy a new Up on finance, and you’ll have something that you can rely on 100% for a set monthly cost.
I may rely on my ancient Land-Rover, but as a family we have an Octavia Vrs we bought new, which has been faultless, and on a personal level I have a 500cc Honda I also bought new not too long ago. A single person’s resources seldom stretch beyond properly looking after one classic vehicle, and when they do, it’s often at the expense of something else.
If you really want an older project, then sell the Princess too would be my advice. If not, then concentrate on getting just the one vehicle to tip top.
Moderns might be 'modern' but they work.....faultlessly......endlessly.....with no servicing
They are also comfy, easy to drive and normally pretty frugal.
I at present run older mondeo's (currently titanium X 2007 model) I never spend more than £5,000 on a car and it will normally last me 5-7 years with no outlay at all except for fuel/mot/tyres/oil change.
That makes sense, for normal people with normal car needs. Thing is, I don't use a car a lot and any 'modern' duties can be done by the other half's van. The Princess does everything I need a car to do and while it's certainly been a nuisance from time to time, generally speaking it's the car I always turn to as my everyday machine and the one I prefer to use.
Anything post-2000 leaves me absolutely cold. The newest thing I enjoy driving is mid-90s, it's what I'm comfortable with physically and pyschologically. Most modern cars I find to be an uncomfortable experience, sometimes even physically, and since I don't commute or go long distance that often, the investment of a modern makes absolutely no sense.
I could bump down to one car, and I might, but it wouldn't be to the BX because I just like the Princess a lot more even though on paper the BX is the better car.
Oh, and as for the finance option, even the cheapest car on finance would cost more than both the cars I currently run and spend on, I have looked into it and finance isn't all its cracked up to be. Besides, if I'm spending finance money on a car I'd want it to be on something I actually wanted to own and I'm yet to find anything on finance that I'd want to own, I'd rather spend my money on a string of bad decisions and frustration ;P
If you’re not doing the miles, and can manage without when all the “things going wrong” happen concurrently, then carry on.
As for finance, it again depends on circumstance; mainly mileage. If you’re doing 12k a year or more, then a new super mini will save on fuel and running costs way more than it costs on payments over an older car. Crucially though, it’s the ability to budget and plan that counts, as often if you genuinely need to be able to drive 1000+ miles a month you can neither manage without a vehicle, or find hundreds of pounds at the drop of a hat for surprise repairs.
Regardless, I think you’re right to move on the BX now, even if there’s an element of cutting your losses to walk away from it.
Interesting. I don't mind Spitfires, they're a nice design, they're a good size, and that one having a hardtop means I wouldn't have the annoyance of a floppy top. My preferred small Triumphs are Herald, TR7, Toledo, and Mayflower. The TR7 is one of the very few sports cars I'd actually want to own, but it would have to be fixed roof and ideally in an obnoxious colour.
It very much depends on what you need, if you do lots of mileage and much of it on motorways you can't beat a modern, we have a fiest ecoboost active which I regularly used to drove hundreds of miles at a time in for work, you simply couldn't get up early and be in Cologne for lunch in a classic. That said since lockdown I haven't been traveling for work and we have given the fiesta to my daughters othet half to use so only had the classics and it has been great, only one breakdown being a new coil on the minor failing. If you not doing lots of motorway miles it's perfectly possible (and many do) to use a minor every day, virtualy everything is available next day delivery better than many moderns, just make sure you check for rust, they hide it well but can be terrible.
Another option is Standards, very good value for money and a lot of the running gear common to the Herald so easily available.
Tr7, i've had one for 25 years, engine is awfull the rest pretty good if you get a later one.
I actually found the perfect car while window shopping. It's a model I really like in exactly the right condition. If I had the money in my pocket it would already be here, I'd deal with whatever was broken when it got here.
For what I want this car to do, it's ideal; pootling about town, the occasional A road venture, no motorways. The Princess is great for doing all the modern car things I need and while not quite as comfortable as the BX for really long journeys, now that I actually live with the other half the only really long journeys I used to do I no longer do, so that's not an issue.
So now the rub. About half the money for that Lanchester is locked up in the BX, the other half doesn't exist yet. I don't qualify for the Boris cheques (which is annoying, because other self employed friends who earn more, and some who earn less, do) and my little business has been running at about 30% lower income than usual. I haven't actually closed all through the pandemic thing, but I'm in the luxury market (art) so people don't have so much disposable to spend on that sort of thing, understandably.
At least I feel comfortable in the direction I'm heading. Realistically, a straight swap for the BX isn't going to happen, it's not worth enough for what I'd like to get into, and I'm okay with that. At the moment, £3-5k seems to be the price range for what I'm interested in getting, that little Lanchester is up at £1800, which is quite cheap really. So now I have to decide whether or not to put the BX on the open market, I love buying cars and absolutely hate selling them. I reckon if someone turned up with a grand in their hand I'd be happy to let the BX go.
Whatever you buy, try and get something that’s actually roadworthy as a starting point. Even if it needs fairly imminent work. That Spitfire, for instance, would likely be the worst possible thing to consider.
The Lanchester isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I can see the appeal. It’s left-field enough to be inexpensive to buy, well enough built that when sorted should be pretty dependable. It’s likely never going to be worth a fortune, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My only concern would be spares availability.
Finding someone to do a swap would mean finding someone who wanted to get into BX ownership as much as I want to get into pre-war type car ownership, it's unlikely. Still, putting it out there can always net some interesting offers, like the '99 Audi TT that was suggested as a maybe. Sometimes, just sticking the info out there brings up stuff you hadn't considered, even if it's nothing like what you're looking for.
Lanchesters aren't very valuable. That's good for buying, bad for selling. They have some parts supply problems, but are simple enough that most issues can be overcome. From memory, one of the gearboxes can be problematic, and trim can be hard to find, but that's why the one I found would have been a good contender since it looks like a car that's complete and not really messed about with which is exactly the sort of thing I'm after. I don't even mind if something like that isn't on the road, it should fit in the garage to stop it getting worse and I'm under no time pressure to sort it out.
I suspect the BX will end up on the open market. Who knows, maybe somebody out there really wants a low spec well sorted BX. It'll sort, I have a plan, and I'm keeping my eyes open for something suitable. We all know how it goes, I'm looking for something old and small and I'll end up with a derelict American land yacht with a Perkins lump shoved in it.
In Princess news, the parcel shelf has been sorted out. This is a very simple job. I used some art board I had left over from another project to laminate the original parcel shelf board and repair some of the damage to it. Really, I should replace the entire trim board, it's had a very hard life, this was just easier. After the two boards were bonded together, I then wrapped the whole lot in some new maroon vinyl I'd bought. The leather I'd previously covered the board in was very dry and had shrunk a lot due to how insanely hot this part of the interior gets. With the new vinyl I pulled it tight enough to be smart, and just loose enough that if it does shrink it's not going to warp the boards again, difficult to explain but sort of a 'comfortable fit' without being baggy.
The vinyl I bought is slightly darker than the dye I'd used on the rest of the interior. That's not a problem, it looks close enough to not look out of place and BL had a habit of using slightly different shades of the same colour on their interiors anyway. The other thing to do was remove the extra little bit of vinyl that goes between the rear window and the parcel shelf. Again, I just cut this to the long curved shape it needed to be, and glued it down in a way that would allow it to stretch and shrink without pulling away, it's held in around the edges by other trim pieces so it's not going anywhere even if I didn't glue it.
With that all prepared I could ease the newly covered parcel shelf trim in and bop it down to get the trim clips to sit in their holes. The new parcel shelf board is quite a bit thicker now and it's a tighter fit, I'm hoping that stops it making the occasional low volume boom over rough surfaces. I also jabbed two small holes under each speaker so they could be bolted down and have the wires fed into the boot space.
Once I have an amp to go under the rear seat and an electric aerial to go in the rear wing I can look at installing the new head unit up front
Runs, drives, stops, goes up, goes down, barely uses any fuel. Has MoT until the end of October. Everything works as it should.
Rear suspension boots Four new Uniroyal Rain Expert tyres Nice new steel in the front inner arches where needed, a little bit in the boot too, all documented in this thread, followed by seam sealer, paint, and underseal where appropriate OEM Citroen rubber floor mats Professionally rebuilt fuel injection pump (about £500 for this job alone) New glow plugs Restored original wheel trims Yellow headlight bulb caps Cleaned LHM filters and new LHM Some new LHM hard lines
There's probably more, it's all documented in this thread. It's a really well sorted BX, cruises happily with modern stuff on the motorway, seats many adults in comfort, fits loads of stuff in the back even without folding the back seats down. It's astonishingly comfortable long distance, and great around the doors too. It's all the car you could ever want. It should go through its next MoT no bother, but it's an old car so I can't guarantee that.
Full disclosure, there's three flaws I'm aware of:
Minor LHM weep from the back. This is probably the rubber o-ring between the sphere and the bit it screws into. Only leaks when the car is parked and sinks on the suspension after a while, it's a return-leak so not a problem or dangerous. Had to delete the original fuel preheater due to it having an air leak, car sometimes requires a bit of throttle on first start to compensate. Again, not dangerous and typical of this engine. The new injection pump would benefit from fine tuning to get it spot on. It's close enough that it works fine, it would just be nicer if properly tuned.
Comes with a handful of spares, including at least one headlight, the original white bonnet, a pair of head restraints, a couple of manuals, some wheel trims, and a few other bits and bobs I can't remember off the top of my head.
I'm in Allington, which is in Maidstone, Kent.
I'd like around £1,000
Fairly flexible for viewing times and dates, afternoons very much preferred, and of course Covid rules to be observed when viewing at least for the time being. Drop me a PM on here if you're interested. I'd like to keep it in the fold if I can.
I'll do a proper for sale thread later, I just want to give regular readers first dibs before it goes out into the wild.
The Lanchester will be joining this thread, so no need to subscribe to another one. Quite excited for delivery. Funds have gone through, we hope, so it's just a case of sorting out the last few details now so we can get stuck in.